Liberty Twp. man interviewed by detectives for 17 hours wants statements suppressed in murder case

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Strouse is charged with murder in the death of Ellie Weik

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

A hearing for a Liberty Twp. man charged in the death of a 23-year-old woman who was found dead in a Millikin Road field was continued on Wednesday because a transcript of an 17-hour interview the police is not completed.

The trial date for 29-year-old Michael Strouse also was changed to June 10.

Strouse, of Bluffs Drive, was indicted in September 2018 for aggravated murder; murder; three counts of tampering with evidence; menacing by stalking; petty theft; abuse of a corpse; and gross abuse of a corpse in the death of Ellen “Ellie” Weik. He is being held on $4 million bond.

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In January, the defense team filed a motion to suppress statements made by Strouse as well as evidence arguing his rights had been violated.

West Chester Twp. police interrogated Strouse for eight hours on Aug. 23, beginning at 12:10 p.m., according to the defense.

“Police officers did not advise Mr. Strouse of his Miranda rights until over 30 minutes into the the interrogation. During the interrogation, Mr. Strouse asserted his right to remain silent and his right to an attorney. However, police continued the interrogation,” the defense attorneys wrote in the motion.

Strouse was released by police at 8:24 p.m., but he asked to leave several times during the interrogation and was ignored, according to the defense.

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The next day, police found human remains (later identified by the coroner’s office as Weik) in a farm field near Strouse’s residence.

“At the same time officers arrested Mr. Strouse and drove him to the police station for further interrogation,” according to the motion. “En route to the police station, police officers drove Mr. Strouse by the location where the body was found so that Mr. Srouse could see the activity. This conduct on the part of police officers was reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response.”

The defense says that Strouse was interrogated Aug. 24 for nine hours without having an attorney available and argues that any statements made after he invoked his right to counsel and evidence discovered as a result should be suppressed.

Strouse was in Butler County Common Pleas Court on Wednesday for a hearing to consider the motion filed by his attorneys Kyle Rapier and Jeff Bowling. But Judge Greg Howard indicated the transcript of the police interrogation had not yet been completed and was needed for the defense to proceed with the hearing.

The suppression hearing was rescheduled to April 1, which was the scheduled trial date.

Assistant Prosecutor Josh Muennich said Strouse is not entitled to a “blank check.”

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West Chester police say Strouse is responsible for the death of Weik at his Liberty Twp. home, located about one-quarter of a mile from the field where her body was found. Strouse was charged with murder on Aug. 25.

Weik went missing July 29 from her West Chester Twp. home. Her mother reported her missing Aug. 1, according to West Chester police.

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